Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Cookies and Cream Ice Cream


When it comes to less healthy eating, my preference is typically dessert as opposed to junk food. I mean, don't get me wrong--greasy, unhealthy foods can be really appealing at times. Sometimes a slice of pizza sounds great. But one thing I've learned about myself recently is that the savory foods that aren't good for me usually don't make me feel very well, and that's a decent-sized incentive for me to usually do my best to avoid them. Even better, on the flip side, I usually feel actively good and well when I eat something good for me, which is, again, an incentive for me to try to eat right. This definitely isn't to say I never eat unhealthy savory foods, but just that these days, I usually save the less healthy foods for dessert. Today's post concerns a homemade dessert that's easy to make and yields delicious results.

Homemade Ice Cream is a comforting, delicious dessert with, I think, much greater depth of flavor than the store-bought variety, as well as boasting the satisfaction that comes with making any food at home and getting to enjoy what you've created. Ice cream is a blank canvas kind of dessert, and today cookies and cream sounded like a good flavor to attempt to make.

While in the past we'd used vanilla extract to make basic vanilla ice cream, we found it to be pretty overpowering in flavor, and we found the flavor itself to be just a little off. The vanilla ice cream we'd made tasted sort of like vanilla ice cream, but not quite.

So for today's ice cream, we opted to use a real vanilla bean. Jen had experience with this, but I did not. While a lot of recipes want you to make a custard base with egg yolks, and while that may result in a better vanilla ice cream, today we just mixed the vanilla seeds in with the heavy cream, milk, and sugar. I used this great peanut butter ice cream recipe as the basis for the ice cream, and just omitted the peanut butter and added in vanilla seeds instead of vanilla extract.


To start, whisk your sugar and milk together until the milk dissolves. That's the vanilla bean pod in the background.


Slice your vanilla pod lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds.


Empty the seeds and heavy cream into the sugar/milk mixture.


Whisk well for about 30 seconds just to get everything all blended.


Plug in your ice cream maker, pour in the mixture, and turn it on. Crush about a cup of sandwich cookies and add those to the batch in the last five minutes. This ice cream took 30-35 minutes in our ice cream maker, but ice cream makers are pretty variable in how long they take to churn out a batch of that much screamed-for treat, so consult the manual that came with your ice cream maker for a better idea of how long it'll take.




With homemade ice cream, make sure to at least try a bite of the plain ice cream before you add any toppings, because it's going to be pretty delicious just on its own.


Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all tomorrow for another edition of Windy City Cooking. Have a great morning, and stay cool!

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